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Cup of coffee in the big time: You’re not owed anything

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Most of you know, understand and appreciate what I’m about to say, but some folks need to hear it (and hear it multiple times, at that).

Wrestlers don’t owe you a photo, autograph, handshake or ... anything.

And, if they want you to pay for a selfie with them or that autograph you want, there’s nothing wrong with that.

I know some of you — the ones who need this reminder — are already scrolling down to the comments, ready to pull the trigger on a “well, actually ...” response, suggesting wrestlers do owe you because you “pay to see them.”

Don’t do it.

Especially on the indies, these men and women are busting their asses, taking time away from their families, traveling (often without being paid travel/lodging fees that fully cover their costs) and then performing. Oh, and there’s the cost of gear, the time and/or money for new merch designs, etc.

The merch game provides a major chunk of a wrestler’s income and if they choose to supplement it by charging for selfies or autographs, that’s part of the game, whether you feel like you already “paid for their performance” or not.

On the Bitter Boys Club podcast, I’ve talked to my co-host Ethan Page about this in the past. He has said he doesn’t charge for autographs or selfies in most cases, especially if you bought something else. But that’s his approach. If someone else wants you to pony up $5 for a selfie or to autograph the shirt you just bought, they’re doing it for a reason.

The idea a wrestler owes a fan any personal interaction comes up far too often in “the community,” and it’s usually something like “they didn’t want to talk to me at the airport” or David Starr’s pre-WrestleMania weekend request fans move through the line smoothly and don’t ruin his display of shirts.

Here’s the best part of the arrangement between fans and wrestlers, though: just as they don’t owe you anything, if you don’t like their attitude, you don’t have to give them your money.

It’s a beautiful system, elegant in its simplicity.

I don’t have a clever closing today, so here’s Ricochet doing Ricochet things